What is your full name and title? And how long have you been in this role?
My name is Peter von Loesecke and I'm the chief executive officer and managing director of the MBA Tour Inc., an organization that brings together prospective MBA students with business school representatives at events in more than 30 countries. I have owned the MBA Tour since March, 2006.
What exactly do you do?
I determine the strategic direction of the firm for our suite of services and events. I also work with my team to manage relationships with business schools and to develop strategic partnerships with companies that support the MBA Tour mission.
Describe what you do on any given day.
I am either travelling and managing our events or deciding where to invest resources to expand our partnerships, broaden our geographic reach and improve technology that promotes better interaction and knowledge growth between applicants and business schools.
What's your background and education?
My undergraduate degree is from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Upon graduation, I received my commission in the U.S. Navy and entered the Navy's Nuclear Power Program as a submarine officer. After my five-year Navy obligation, I earned an MBA from Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management with a concentration in operations and finance. I have had a 22-year career, mostly in management consulting with Mercer Management Consulting, Arthur D. Little, and Applied Value. As a management consultant, my focus was on supply chain in process industries. In 2006, I purchased the MBA Tour and have remained in this position since.
How did you get to your position?
From my consulting experiences, I became very interested in business education. I had two opportunities to present supply-chain case studies at Cornell that I wrote based on actual project work. During my career in management consulting, I also mentored many recent MBA graduates and sat on promotion-review boards. The combination of both experiences has helped me understand the industry.
What's the best part of your job?
I like the challenges of running an international business. I visit at least 10 countries a year and maintain international partnerships.
I also like our approach to the application of technology and think the MBA Tour is leading the way in its use of technology at our events to help promote interaction between schools and applicants. We make it easy for schools to instantly capture a digital contact list of attendees they meet at the MBA Tour with name badge scanning technology. We also recently developed a tool to help schools and candidates preschedule personal meetings at the MBA Tour based on the candidate's interests and the school's target applicants.
It's our goal to constantly rethink how schools and applicants exchange information at our events, and how we can make it better and more meaningful, ultimately leading applicants to make the best choice when choosing a business school.
What's the worst part of your job?
The challenges of selling into the academic world are very different from the business world
What are your strengths in this role?
The openness to apply new technology and a willingness to fail.
What are your weaknesses?
Not recognizing failure fast enough because you are blinded by the desire for a project to succeed.
What has been your best career move?
Becoming the owner of the MBA Tour.
What has been your worst career move?
Not having become an entrepreneur soon enough.
What's your next big job goal?
I am keeping that a secret.
What's your advice to others who might want to follow in your footsteps?
Know your weaknesses and don't be afraid to fail. Learn from your experiences and listen to what the marketplace is really telling you.
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